On August 8th, a skyscaper was blown to smithereens in downtown Datong city, Shanxi province, right next to an ancient city wall.
According to NetEase, the local government conducted the explosive demolition in order to improve the view from Datong’s “old city,” by getting rid of a 90-meter-tall eyesore near Wuding Gate.
The giant blast broke the city’s sernity, sending dust floating into the sky and covering the ancient city wall. Check out some pics below:
And here’s some videos of the building going down from separate angles:
Some netizens online have questioned the government’s reasoning for blowing up the building:
“Instead of thinking about how to integrate a modern skyscraper with an ancient wall, the government just made a short-term decision, it’s such a shame,” wrote one web user.
“But why did they build it in the first place then?” wondered another.
This isn’t the first time that the city of Datong has faced questions about its urban planning. Datong is an ancient city — the capital of three separate Chinese dynasties — and recently has been looking to regain its former glory. Leading that effort was the city’s former mayor Geng Yanbo, who became known as “Demolition Geng” after he took office in 2008 thanks to his policy of “Let the old remain old, and turn the new into newer.”
Geng launched efforts to destroy Datong’s old city to make way for a new “old city” within the Ming Dynasty era walls. Over the years, his efforts would earn him accolades as well as an infamous reputation as locals clashed with demolition squads. In 2013, Geng was appointed as mayor of Taiyuan, the provincial capital of Shanxi province, leaving his new “old city” unfinished and residents protesting for his return.
Wonder what he said when he saw this.
By Sophie Wang
[Images via NetEase]